Chandler Innovations is proud to feature some of the best experts and industry leaders as mentors.
Dave Blackledge is an Attorney of Counsel with Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC. He is an experienced businessman and later in life attorney focusing his practice on corporate/business transactions. He is an active angel investor and frequent volunteer at various business incubators and accelerators in the valley. Dave is a Professor at GCU’s College of Business.
Alan Carey has over 30 years business experience in Europe and the US in both manufacturing and service industries, ranging from large, Fortune 500 companies to smaller businesses. At one time, he was the successful owner of an import/export company. Alan holds an advanced degree in Organization Development and has specialized in that field, with an emphasis on sales and marketing. He is the author of numerous published articles and has been involved in many community-based organizations. Alan has served as both an internal and external consultant to individuals and organizations in Europe, the US, and Africa, with additional contacts in Asia, Central and South America.
Madhu is the President of WSI-Optimized Web Solutions. She has over 19 years of experience helping small and medium size businesses with their digital marketing. WSI's mission is to help small and medium sized businesses use the internet to become more effective and profitable. The organization benefits its clients by increasing their Rank in various search engines and generating qualified leads through proven search engine strategies. WSI is one of the largest digital marketing agencies in the world with over 1,000 offices in 81 Countries, with their local office being in the Phoenix area. Madhu is also a certified LinkedIn coach and offers LinkedIn coaching to individuals and businesses. Madhu is a member of Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce and serves as an ambassador. She also belongs to Chandler Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Women Business Organization. Specialties- Website Design & Development, SEO, Google adwords, Social Media Marketing, Marketing Automation and Data Analytics.
Dr. Bipin chadha
Dr. Bipin Chadha has over 25 years of experience in developing advanced analytics, AI, simulation, and optimization models to solve challenging business problems for a broad range of industries. As the Chief Data Scientist for Ascential, he is responsible for guiding and mentoring distributed data science teams, establish a data science lab to work on forward looking use cases and bring promising technologies into the organization. Previously as the AVP of Data Science and Analytics at CopperPoint, he established their data science practice and laid out their analytics strategy. He trained and mentored several data scientists and analysts and helped identify key use cases. At Copperpoint, he helped develop and deploy pricing and underwriting models, claims triaging models, and loss prevention models. Prior to CopperPoint, Chadha was the first data scientist for USAA, where he helped establish the data science practice and developed a wide range of analytical models. There he developed a first of its kind digital-twin model that created a large-scale behavioral representation of the entire market. This model was frequently used for making strategic decisions. He has won several awards and patents for data visualization, analytical models, and chatbots. Prior to USAA he worked in several verticals where he developed a wide range of analytical and digital twin models for: strategic decision support, marketing, war-gaming, large system design, cyber-defense, and operational improvements. He has worked on several projects and advanced research programs for Fortune 500 companies, DARPA, and defense research labs. He has published over 50 papers in international conferences and journals and is frequently invited to speak at industry events. He received his PhD from Georgia Tech, a MS from Southern Illinois University, and a BE degree from IIT-Roorkee.
Ken Costello is the chief operating officer of MST Solutions where he strategically guides the company’s customer acquisition, engagement and retention strategies. As part of this focus, he plays an integral role in identifying how to leverage emerging technologies to support clients in scaling and automating their marketing, sales and operational systems to achieve real business results. Effective at translating big visions to achievable plans, Ken also leads company culture, team development, and operational efficiency initiatives, driving MST Solutions to exceed growth goals year over year.
With more than 10 years in operations and business intelligence roles, Ken previously served as the executive vice president of operations at Apollo Education Group where he was responsible for company-wide process improvement and enterprise program management.
Ken holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in Information Management from Arizona State University. He also volunteers with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Branching Out Family Services, and serves as an informal mentor to colleagues, guiding them through career growth and development.
Karen Cummings founded Radiant Marketing to apply a creative, market-centric and metric-forward marketing approach for brands. Radiant Marketing is passionate about creating positive change by connecting individuals to brands that can impact their lives for the better.
Karen loves helping businesses with great products and services bring possibility to life by sharing their story in an authentic way, to an audience with shared views, values and goals.
Her experience includes digital marketing, content and branding strategy, print, logo & digital media design, social media marketing, content strategy, inbound marketing and more. Karen loves working with passionate teams on a mission to do good.
Karen enjoys quality time with my husband, son, family & friends; traveling; the beach (really any beach); and her incredible Radiant team.
Specialties: Certified HubSpot Partner, Google Partner Agency, Certified Social Media Strategist, sales enablement, branding development, nonprofit marketing
With nearly 30 years of experience in manufacturing and supply chain operations leadership, Jim Harrison is currently a Sr. Client Advisor for the Arizona Manufacturing Extension Partnership (AZ- MEP), helping manufacturers to be successful and strengthening manufacturing in Arizona. Jim has worked to transform organizations through improving production and global supply chain processes in manufacturing organizations that produce products such as aerospace components, medical devices, consumer products, and industrial machines. His leadership has led to successfully eliminating waste resulting in lower cost, higher margins, better efficiencies, and increased employee satisfaction. His contributions have been instrumental in start-ups and business turnarounds. Jim is a proud veteran of the Arizona Air National Guard. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business-Information Systems and earned his MBA from the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in the High Technology Program. He has a Lean Green Belt certification and is credited on multiple US and foreign patents.
Ronald J. Kisicki is a Partner in the firm's Business & Finance Department and a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent Office, and concentrates his practice in Intellectual Property Law. He is experienced in managing large patent portfolios and in counseling clients on various intellectual property matters. He also has extensive experience handling intellectual property litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret infringement suits.
Prior to joining Woods Oviatt he was a partner with Jaeckle Fleischmann and Mugel, LLP.
Before earning a law degree, Mr. Kisicki worked for 16 years as an engineer and manager with General Motors. His experience included work in the occupant safety and crash worthiness design with GM's Chevrolet Engineering.
Layson Logistics, 1999 to date Independent consultant and management advisor. Focus on strategic planning, marketing and financial analysis. Quickly address quantifiable business issues and opportunities. Advised “for profit” businesses of various size. Represented large retail bank in business acquisition. Held temporary executive positions with Autobytel and OpenAuto in California. Led Marketing Conference in Amman, Jordan. Addressed homeless issues and opportunities in Concord NC Presently (In Charlotte, NC) Completing work with two business clients. Member of the Board and Finance Committee at Ronald McDonald House. Active at Discovery Place Science Center. Guest lectured at University of North Carolina, Charlotte. University Faculty, 1999 through 2012 Initially with Ottawa University. Taught in Malaysia. Then Faculty member, Arizona State University, School of Business. Coopers & Lybrand and Deloitte Consulting, 1996 to 1999 As Director of Worldwide Automotive Consulting, advised large clients regarding strategic planning, business development, supply chain management, and international operations. Advised clients throughout the world, particularly Asia. Ford Motor Company, 1966 to 1995 Senior management positions in Vehicle Planning and Scheduling, Material Procurement, and International Strategic Planning. Lead internal Business Process Reengineering and Process Improvement projects. Developed and implemented the marketing aspect of Ford/Mazda relationship. Chief Information Officer with Ford Motor Credit Company. Education, MBA, University of Michigan
Marty is an accomplished Silicon Valley sales executive and a B2B sales best practices thought leader. His 30 years of tech industry sales experience is applied in assisting companies in building, growing, and scaling their tech businesses. Marty’s expertise encompasses direct sales (outside and inside) and utilization of sales channels to grow revenue. His industry background includes:
Executive sales roles in two public companies
Global Sales Vice President during a successful company IPO
Designed and led a large division business turnaround
Marty now serves as an advisor to early and growth stage tech leaders in Arizona. He designs sales strategies and execution plans for growing revenue that is aligned to the company’s stage of development. He mentors CEO/founders on their role in sales.
Hebe Doneski is an experienced commercial attorney and market development executive, and is the founder of 108 Legal PLLC, a law practice focused on helping businesses accelerate growth through contract transformation, new market expansion, M&A readiness, negotiation support and more. Her passion is helping her clients develop contracts and processes that deliver an outstanding customer experience. She also founded 108 Ventures, which makes selective angel investments in quality technology startups.
Biz Coach Steve Feld, MBA, is a Certified Business Coach, Author, Professional Speaker, and award-winning Business Management Executive. Over 300 businesses have sought out his services to work with them on gaining much needed clarity, implementing solid strategic plans, and achieving positive growth results. How does he obtain the best results for them so quickly? He focuses on the foundation of the business. Steve is passionate about businesses growth, efficient operations, and long-term success. With the high-end content he delivers in his presentations, his audience is able to immediately implement for fast results. He believes business can be fun, so his delivery is entertaining thus resulting in high engagement. Steve has built, owned, and operated 6 lucrative businesses. He has consulted with other businesses providing change management and process improvement. He operated within 3 Fortune 500 companies, manning and boosting an entire division for them. In addition to his extensive U.S. experience, he works with global businesses to improve and streamline their operations. Today, businesses hire Biz Coach Steve to skyrocket their revenue and profits. With an array of resources from 1-on-1 and group coaching to mastermind facilitation and an E-Learning Academy, Steve has all the proven tools and resources businesses need to expand. You will find Biz Coach Steve featured at many conferences, associations, and corporations. His high energy and easy connection with participants allow him to deliver great content which benefits all who attend.
Pankaj (PJ) is a passionate entrepreneurial leader, highly experienced in healthcare technology. Specializing in leading fast-paced innovation in the healthcare industry, PJ has founded four companies of his own. He has invested in 10+ startups and served as a Board member and consulting CIO for multiple organizations including Global Med, Valley Perinatal and iMed Transport. He understands what it takes to build businesses from ideation to scale. PJ is currently leading Rovicare which offers a cloud-based software solution for post-acute care utilization. Rovicare stems from PJ’s personal challenges and inefficiencies encountered in discharge management and transition of care.
A senior IT leader with 18+ years of experience in roles such as Senior Enterprise Software Architect for Intel Corporation, PJ is well-equipped to build and manage technology, processes, personnel and strategy. He is a dedicated, hands-on leader who seamlessly integrates multi-disciplinary teams to deliver strategic solutions that exceed business goals and has successfully completed complex projects with budgets exceeding $10 million and 1 million users. Through his extensive experience, PJ learned that success comes from the streamlined integration of technology, great people and skilled leadership. As a result, he has defined a clear strategy for success through which all business operations flow, including product roadmap management, budgeting, capital investment and team dynamics.
PJ is an active mentor and investor in the local start-up community, bringing exceptional problem-solving skills to help integrate people, process, technology and investment with the greater community. His community involvement includes Phoenix Startup Week, Chandler Innovations, Arizona Technology Investors and Arizona State University, and participating as a judge in local innovation contests such Devil Days at ASU, Venture Madness and Healthcare Startups.
Brian Martinitz is a Business Consultant passionate about process improvement. Brian has over 30 years of experience optimizing supply chains and improving operational outcomes leading to increased revenues, reduced costs, and increased profits for global fortune 500 companies.
Brian is a respected leader, subject matter expert, and project manager with the ability to influence and focus diverse teams on achieving organizational goals and objectives by creatively balancing resources, scope, and schedule. Specifically, collaborating with cross functional personnel to identify Operational Excellence (OpEx) opportunities that support business and financial objectives in Engineering, Information Technology, Human Resources, Customer Service, Manufacturing, Planning, Finance, and Logistics organizations amongst a myriad of industries.
Brian holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University and an MBA with an emphasis in Finance from California Lutheran University. In addition, Brian is a licensed Professional Engineer - P.E., Project Management Professional - PMP®, and Certified Supply Chain Professional - CSCP®.
Brian’s areas of expertise include: Process Improvement, Business Case Development, Capacity Analysis, Data Mining & Analytics, Work Measurement, Facility Layout, Technical Problem Solving, Metrics Development, Strategic Planning, System Thinking, Lean Six Sigma, Business Process Modeling, Methods Engineering, Capital Justification, and Supply/Demand Planning.
joacim "Jay" mattisson
Jay Mattisson is a solution finder, who brings fresh perspectives to the discussion. As a founder and investor, Jay shake things up - be it software solutions, SaaS, websites, workflows or data gathering. Jay has a sensitive ear to what the users actually need. He builds close-knit teams that translate customer requirements into solid services. Experienced Scrum master and team leader using Agile methodology to bring projects in on time and on budget.
Selected positions: Founder Eventkey - next generation event management solution. President Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Arizona - promotes trade, investment and business opportunities between Sweden and Arizona. Adviser to the German American Chamber of Commerce Arizona. Founding board member of a community bank (in formation).
Eric Miller is a co-owner of Tempe based PADT, Inc., a provider of tools and services to companies who design and manufacture physical products. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the UC Berkeley and started his career focusing on the application Computer Aided Engineering to turbine engine components. As a co-founder of PADT in 1994, Eric was able to also pursue his interests in IT, graphic design, 3D printing, database programming, and small business management.
Eric is often called upon to write and speak on simulation, design, and 3D Printing as well as on startups and the high-tech sector. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the Arizona Technology Council Board of Directors, the BioAccel Advisory Council and Board of Directors, the screening committee of Arizona Technology Investors, and he is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Arizona Commerce Authority. He enjoys traveling, writing, history, cooking, and learning about new things. He also contributes regularly to the Phoenix Business Journal blog and hosts the All Things ANSYS podcast.
Anjali Nennelli is entrepreneurial by choice and a technologist. She is a problem solver, tech futurist, serial entrepreneur, community builder, women in tech advocate, lifelong learner and a thought leader.
She has hands-on experience and expertise with mobile & emerging technologies and their ecosystems. With over 17 years in the tech industry, she has worked in software solutions from start-up to large-scale enterprise architecture. She co-founded Mokriya, a product creation studio that delivered products to Fortune 100 enterprises like Intel, Google, Twitter, Verizon, L’Oreal etc. She built one of the first ‘remote-first’ company and successfully took it to an exit. She has also taken one of her products through the YC startup school.
Currently in its eighth year, Phoenix Mobile & Emerging Tech Festival is Nennelli’s passion project; she’s thrilled to use her thought leadership to bring people together to witness the cutting edge of technology, and along with her products, hopes to make a difference in this world.
She is currently growing a product services company around AI and Machine Learning. You can often find her mentoring founders, startups across the Phoenix Valley.
Social media handles, website links - Twitter: @anjalisa, Website: http://lotuslabs.co
Applicable calls to action, i.e. find out more about Anjali- If you have a tough software problem or looking to build something innovative, we can help. You can reach me at email@example.com or find me on linked in - https://www.linkedin.com/in/anjalinennelli/
Phillip J. Pipkins has worked at Silicon Valley Bank as Vice President of Technology Banking focusing on sourcing some of the hottest seed through growth stage startup companies in the southwest. Prior to this role he was on the technology and product team building several enterprise fintech solutions and leading their agile digital transformation. He has battle scars from his own failed venture which positions him excellently to identify and nurture early stage companies. Phillip graduated from ASU in 2012 and is based in Phoenix, AZ.
Steven Rose is a serial entrepreneur and a people-oriented technologist interested in creating raving fans through delivering value and delightful customer experiences. He is a lifelong learner who believes in collaboration, transparency, and alignment. Steve enjoys helping people strategically plan long-term goals and map those back to short-term deliverables.
Steve is highly involved in the local Phoenix community and has several successes under his belt. He organized and presented at Phoenix Startup Week and also founded the AZ Marketing Technology group.
Steven is a sports fanatic and family man, loving the time he gets to spend with two fast-growing munchkins that can always bring a smile to his face.
Specialties: Strategy, Marketing, Development/Technology, User Experience, Analytics, Product/Project Management
Burt Skiba specializes in intellectual property law, he has extensive experience in mechanical engineering and advising clients on various aspects of intellectual property law. He advises a wide range of companies in all manner of transactions involving intellectual property matters. Mr. Skiba has had three startups himself, so he can relate on a personal level with the startups he helps. Mr. Skiba assists companies with patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and other IP related business counseling. He specializes in early-stage startups by helping establish and implementing intellectual property strategies that protects and builds value within the company. Mr. Skiba worked as a Mechanical Engineer for 11 years, and has considerable technical experience with complex systems such as turbine engines, rockets, and missiles. While as an engineer Mr. Skiba received his MBA in Finance. Mr. Skiba spends his free time with his wife and four kids.
Steven earned his Masters in Business, from Arizona State University in 2004. His first management role was as Inventory Control Manager of the NAPA auto parts distribution center, he left NAPA to become operations manager of small distribution company from there he, as part of senior leadership team, grew the Blockbuster video local franchise from 7 stores to 21, one of his many accomplishments was growing the video game product from concept to a $2million revenue stream. Founded a cleaning service, that specialized in cleaning single family homes for rental property managers, grew to 6 employees the first year. Was one of the owners/founders of a B2B service repair company, grew the organization from $800k/year to $6mil/year in four years-the procedures he created were in place several years after his departure. Spent over 10 years in a call center, collection agency, holding many different senior leadership roles including Operational Excellence, Director of IT, Director of Client services, Payment Processing and Ffinance Manager, Project Manager and Global Process Owner (ISO 9001 and 27001) for multiple processes. He now takes his skills and experience and uses them to help as many Local organizations as he can.
Dan Viza has over 25 years’ experience leading corporate strategy, strategic financing/M&A, managing multi-disciplinary marketing and technical teams, and heading global business development for technology companies in the telecommunications, semiconductor, automotive and robotics industries. Dan has also been a seed investor, corporate VC, board advisor and board member of several privately held software companies.
Being in love with technology his whole life, Zack earned a degree in computer science from Mississippi State University and has been professionally developing software since he was 19 years old. He’s developed numerous successful commercial products, led many software development teams, and has served as the technology executive for several successful companies. Zack has a deep passion for sharing his experience with others and for helping businesses solve problems with technology. He is the founder of RoboRapid, LLC, a company specializing in the development of innovative, problem solving robots. In 2017, Zack moved his family to Arizona and is proud to call Chandler home.
Melissa Wilson is a Strategist at Intel Corporation, where she is responsible for defining and monitoring execution of strategy within IT. She stays abreast of external IT industry trends (including disruptive technology) and collaborates with IT senior leaders to drive annual refresh of IT strategy, priorities, and metrics.
In addition to her 5 years in IT Strategy, she brings 19 years of experience in a variety of roles including Corporate Real Estate/Site Development, Assembly Technology Development, Information Security, and Emergency Communications.
She is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and has professional certifications in Crisis Management/Communication and ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library). She holds a B.S. in Business Management after beginning her studies at Auburn University at Montgomery and completing her degree at the University of Phoenix, cum laude.
Melissa has a strong interest in making a difference within the community both professionally and personally:
· Professionally: With a background in IT, she wants to help the Chandler Innovation Program develop and grow future technology leaders in Chandler. Her professional experience with senior IT leaders, venture capitalists and start-ups will help guide new businesses/local start-ups.
· Personally: She was the founder and now co-leader of a local community support group for parents of children with ADD/ADHD and other learning challenges. Starting as a grass-root effort, the support group grew through word-of-mouth with now more than 1300 local Chandler members. The rate of growth attracted interest from a national CHADD network which resulted in the creation of an East Valley CHADD Chapter.
Outside of work and community focus, Melissa devotes her time to her husband of 26+ years, teenage son and their two dogs.
Jeff Winkler is an Operations Executive with 25+ years of C-Level leadership experience, mostly within the event technology production services industry. He is currently doing consulting and enjoying part-time roles such as Professional Teaching Associate at Arizona State University for the engineering and business class Entrepreneurship and Value Creation. A commitment to continuous learning and improvement gets him up in the morning.
During Jeff’s career he led teams from near start-up to incredible growth and ultimately helped founders exit three separate times, selling their companies to larger competitors. When he left the tech industry in 2017, he had responsibility for more than $250 million in revenue with 1,500+ employees and nearly 200 locations to manage.
Jeff attributes his success in taking companies from ground zero to successful conclusion to several things. First and foremost is a healthy and winning culture with values aligned to organizational goals. He is an expert in customer service initiatives and has a consistent record of creating and improving the bottom-line profit. He is also a team builder, developing talent and engagement to achieve the highest performance levels. Servant leadership is key to enabling tomorrows leaders to thrive.
Winkler graduated with honors from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, BA Broadcast Management.
Dr. nelly clotter-woods
Dr. Nelly Clotter-Woods is an industrious, professional advisor who offers sound and profound consultancy services to entrepreneurs and the non-profit industry through her vibrant company named NCW ‘GRANTS’ & ASSOCIATES, PLLC in Arizona. Through her diligence and rapid development, she passed her school-leaving exams in flying colors and she proceeds to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY, where she obtained a BA (Bachelor of Art) in Public Administration in the year 1999 and 2013 respectively. Her first office work was at John Jay College, where she served as an administrative professional. After four years of active service, she moved on to obtain her MA (Master of Art) in Public Administration in 2002 at the same college. She also obtained a doctorate (PhD) in Organizational Behavior & Leadership with a specialization in Business Management at Capella University, Minneapolis, MN, in 2015.
Dr. Nelly is an intelligent woman who has since served in many capacities, both low and high, in different public and private organizations, this includes roles as a field trainer at the Arizona Department of Economic, faculty at the University of Phoenix and Rio Salado College; performance analyst, quality assurance and compliance at community non-profits; child protection investigator, victim advocacy, all laser-focused on services for the communities in need. Apart from these services, Dr. Nelly also invested much of her time in self-development programs where she learned project management, data management and analysis.
With clarity for what the future holds for her, her belief system, and the community she serves, Dr. Nelly founded NCW ‘GRANTS’ & ASSOCIATES, PLLC in the year 2018 at the heart of Surprise, Arizona. She has since grown her firm to stand strong, reliable, and capable of helping entrepreneurs and non-profits with various grant activities for programs such as research, fundraising planning, grant writing, strategic planning, program development, evaluation, and sustainability plans. Dr. Nelly is endowed with an inimitable personality and one-on-one coaching skills that are capable of opening the eyes of guarantors to see challenges as opportunities while they set goals and achieve them in a personalized and meaningful way.
Would you like to be a part of our volunteer Mentor Team?
Chandler Innovations has developed a robust network of entrepreneurs, investors, C-suite executives, and subject matter experts interested in sharing their time and expertise to support our clients in launching and scaling their businesses. Innovations mentors are crucial to our successful program offerings.
The table below represents avenues for mentor engagement. Innovations has many opportunities for mentors to participate and interact with clients.
Open House Cafes - (2 hours)
At our Cafes, lead a roundtable discussion on a topic or be available for speed mentoring
Applicant / Advancement Panels - (2 hours)
Participate as part of a committee hearing from 3-5 companies wishing to join or advance in the program
Speaker/Workshop Leader - (2 hours)
Present a seminar or workshop in your area of expertise
Track 3 Panels - (3 hours)
Participate on general advisory board panels for our Track 3 clients
Pitch Power Panels - (3 hours)
Provide investors feedback and insight to entrepreneurs learning to pitch
Ad Hoc Panels - (2 hours)
Participate on an expert panel to help a client through a specific challenge
1:1 Client Mentoring - (varies)
Meet with clients in a short meeting to provide one-on-one feedback and advice
Extended 1:1 Client Mentoring - (varies)
Work with a client for 3-6 months in a coaching role to address a specific need area
Open Office Hours - (3 hours)
Be available during a set time at Chandler Innovations for scheduled and walk-in appointments with clients
If selected as a mentor, we will set up a time for the on-boarding process, training, and signing of the mentor agreement. In the meantime, we appreciate your interest and look forward to seeing you at some of our great events.